Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


After waiting untill well after 1pm today ( when Master P's secretary said she'd call me back after I called her first thing this morning), I called the office AGAIN and got his other office assistant, a nice but slightly snippy lady named Mary. When I introduced myself on the phone, I mentioned I'd been waiting for Nena to call me, and she said, "In regards to what?" Steam started pouring out my ears, but I kept it cool, and explained. She said, "Well, I'll have to ask him about that." Of course, but I had expected this to be resolved TWO HOURS ago! She promised to call me right back.

At least she didn't waste any time on that front, nor did she make any bones about why I was having to go through this odd shuck-and-jive to get my prescription: "Well, Jessica, I have an appointment for you, but it's not untill the 25th of this month," she started. When I began to explain YET again I was FLAT out of meds, she cut me short. "Yes, I know, and I'm taking an approval over the pharmacy right now, but ONLY for the amount to tide you over til the 25th." "Uhhhhhhhh, sure, okay," I stammered back. " Can you tell me the....I mean, well,....what....what was the reasoning on this whole thing?"

"You missed your appointment. Not only that, but you've missed too many appointments this year, and Doctor is needing to see you, Jessica."

My mouth fell open. WHAT? I pulled it together long enough to say, "What? I....excuse me? I don't understand." She cut to the chase: "Doctor goes through the records every so often and checks attendance himself, and he saw you'd missed too many appointments this year for his liking. NOW, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you keep this next appointment. He came very close to discharging you as a patient."

And that, Dear Reader, rendered me speechless. As you might imagine, I am very rarely without a word. However, I simply could not stop my jaw from hanging open long enough to get anything out. She emphasized again how important it was see him next Friday, and was about to hang up when I said, "Er, wait. How many times did he think that I was....because *I*, nevermind. I'll ask him next week. " We said our goodbyes and ended the phone call.

When I got past the vase-throwing level of frustration and anger I felt at being chided by this woman and being put through this whole aggravating scenario (and feeling completely knocked-off my guard by a physician I thought I knew), I was confused as hell. So I got out my calendar and looked at my appointments for the year. As far as I can tell, I've missed two. That could be wrong, but I double checked with my purse appointment book, where I write my appointments down every time I'm standing at the receptionist's desk. According to my records, I missed one on May 9th ( when I was in Hometown-- but did I not cancel that ahead of time and reschedule? I would be surprised if I didn't) and one on September 9, last Wednsday when I was sick. ( There's a July 20 in the book but not on the calendar, but I know I haven't missed any appointments with him since I got home from The Sinking of The Love Boat trip, since I was losing my mind and desperate to get in there.).

Unless he's counting times when Nena asked me to come in later or shifted me around on the schedule to make accomodations for my episode this summer, I think we're just talking about two appointments.


Seriously? Now I DO suspect some nipping at the sample cabinet! Or, perhaps more probable, a temper tantrum. Overworked/overscheduled doctor loses it one afternoon, and gets some ants in his pants to cull some thankless patients from his caseload. While he likely does check his records yearly to kick out the bottom-feeders that have gotten too reckless with their medical care for even a dude like him to tolerate (like I said, he takes cases that are too tough or too problematic for other docs), it still begs the question: WHY am I in there?!?! For fuck's sake, didn't he just SAY to me that I WASN'T a difficult patient? What in the hail was he looking at?

I have NEVER, and I mean NEVER, EVER, EVER been discharged as someone's patient. Like, to the point of , they're cutting back because they're close to retiring/having a baby/going on sabbatical, and I'm one of the last few left on their rosters. I mean, like, they've taken calls from me when technically I'm not under their care anymore. WHY? Because like I said before, I don't make their jobs hard. I make them WORK, and yes, I ask a million and one questions and I make them explain stuff they normally don't have to, I argue (politely) with them if I think they're on the wrong track, and I have been known to (sometimes-- occasionally--okay, -always - especially if it's the dentist) whine like a baby when it comes to needles. But I have NEVER been bounced out on my ass for untoward or disrespectful behavior.

Why? Because if I agree to a treatment, even begrudgingly, ( and admittedly, at the psychiatrist's office, it is not-too-infrequent that I'm being impudent) I follow through. I do what I'm asked, and then I report back as honestly as I can. I do that because otherwise, the practice of medicine goes out the window and I might as well be paying the guy to throw darts at an answer wheel and guess. Besides, I can't know anything either untill I try it ( something I wish wasn't the case in life in general, but well, whaddya gonna do?), and I won't get better untill I try SOMETHING first.

Which isn't to say I'm the perfect patient or everyone's favorite, because Christ knows I can be charm-free and totally stubborn untill backed into a corner. And Christ also knows if a doctor gets too condescending, stupid ( oh yeah, I've met stupid doctors before. I didn't think 7 years of school could be completed by dumb people, but it goes to show you that sometimes, if you stick with something for long enough, you can pull off anything) or downright punitive I will start wailing untill a.) I get them down off their high horse, or b.) get a new doctor. But those instances are pretty rare.

So, WTF?

It COULD be that Mary was all up in her knickers today, which wouldn't be altogether surprising. In the past I've heard her spin on things sound like something a preschool teacher would say ( ex: once I was running late to an appointment, and I had called from the car to let them know. I got there, and she said, "You're too late. We took the person scheduled after you." Okay. Sounds reasonable, I'll wait until after them. "No, he's booked straight through." Of course he is. But if the person after me is in there during MY time, why can't I take their time in exchange? "I'm sorry, but he's running late as it is." And that is my problem HOW? In the end, I got shoved off to two months later! When I confronted Master P about this incident -yes, two months later!-, he was like, "What?" and I was like, "Exactly!!" ). When I talked to Nena about this, while she did explain he wasn't thrilled, she wasn't at all as weighty as Mary was. I'm wondering if this is one of Mary's weird inrepretations of things again. While that may SOUND weird on MY part to say that, receptionists ( along with psych nurses) in psych offices can be a breed of their own. (Before Nena came along, there was Vance. Vance of The Many Stylish Scarves, as I secretly called him- quite the dandy. Vance had been Master P's secretary for 15 years. He wasn't impolite, but he was a pain in the ass; when he left, everyone I knew as a fellow patient cheered. It wasn't that we didn't like the guy, it was just he had lost his ability to deal with the crazies a long time ago and that made it pretty difficult to work out any scheduling issues or needs. I know Mary's been there longer, so maybe she's just had it, too. Who knows?).

Or, maybe he's looked at my record over the past FIVE years and gotten irritated ( still pretty inexplicable). Maybe he's getting tired of his job, and irritated. Maybe something's gotta give and it might as well be the LESS crazy patients? Or maybe he didn't have enough Diet Coke that day ( I swear psychiatrists alone could be keeping Diet Coke/Diet Dr.Pepper/Diet LiquidAftertaste-In-A-Can in business. Oooh, someone call the The Church of Scientology ! There's a conspiracy there somewhere!). Who knows??

I suppose, til my next audience with The Great Man Himself, I WON'T know. So, while I will probably still wander around the house for the next week going, "WTF?!?" and feeling irked, I will try to untwist my own knickers long enough to calm down. Especially now I've got my meds back.

AARARGHGHG. * Palm hits head*....